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Special Education Engulfs Modern Education

Abadnonned schoolBy Anne Dachel

This week’s update: The decline of modern education

INCREMENTALLY, it’s happening everywhere. Our schools are dealing with more and more problems. Collectively, it’s being described as behavioral/social—emotional issues. Incredibly, there is no demand for answers. This is just the way kids are today. Sure, it might have been entirely different back when you were young, but times change—learn to deal with it.

Blame is vaguely laid on social media/Adverse Childhood Experiences, in other words, Smart Phones and bad parents are behind all this.

Look here at one week in the news. We’re supposed to blindly accept that our children are disabled. Mental illness concerns are rampant in schools. One article cites the National Institute of Mental Health saying, “Among adolescents, an estimated 49.5 percent between the ages 13 to 18 have a mental disorder, according to NIMH.”


(This is contradicted by the repeated claim in the press that ONE IN FIVE KIDS are mentally ill.) However, I checked this 49.5 figure and yes, that’s the claim.

"According the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, mental illnesses are common, and include many different conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. National survey data estimates that 49.5 percent of children between the ages of 13 and 18 had any mental disorder–and among them, more than 22 percent had a severe impairment.

 What I fear from all this is that the real neurological issues affecting our children will be eliminated under the term MENTAL ILLNESS. If every other child is “mentally ill,” the ones with autism, severe ADHD, OCD, and a host of developmental problems won’t matter. Our children won’t matter at all.

It’s constant indoctrination. Mental illness is now a normal and acceptable part of childhood. We just need services. So what if it’s autism? It’s just one of the things plaguing us everywhere.

Jan 28, 2018, (UK) Dumbarton and Vale of Leven Reporter: Mental health association calls on government to mark Year of Young People

SCOTTISH Association for Mental Health has called on the Scottish Government to mark the Year of Young People by creating a programme to train all school staff in mental health.

A survey of more than 3,000 school staff respondents in Scotland found more than two-thirds of teachers do not feel they have received sufficient training in mental health to allow them to carry out their role properly—…

Jan 28, 2018, Statford (CT) Daily Voice: Norwalk Teacher Raising Money To Buy Sensory Chairs For Students

A fourth-grade teacher in Norwalk has raised more than $800 for her students.

Mrs. Hakim, of the Wolfpit Elementary School, is hoping to purchase wobble chairs to meet her students' sensory needs.

"My students need both wobble chairs and additional seating. Most importantly my students love coming to school, learning and being in fourth grade."

Jan 28, 2018, Framingham (MA) Daily News: Hudson schools facing $1.4M shortfall, but hopeful savings will close the gap

…Other increases include district-wide hiring of part and full-time staff to comply with specialized services identified in students’ Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and three English Language Learner teachers. …

The overall student population has declined from 2,845 in fiscal 2012 to 2,607 in 2018.

“Although the district has experienced a decline in student enrollment in the aggregate, the cost of services and programs associated with high needs sub-group populations (students with disabilities, English learners, economic disadvantaged) continue to rise,” Rodrigues wrote. …

Jan 28, 2018, Buffalo (NY) News: Buffalo teachers union to release results of student behavior survey

The Buffalo Teachers Federation is expected to release the results of its Disruptive Student Behavior Survey during a press conference at 10 a.m. Monday at BTF Headquarters, 271 Porter Ave.

The teachers union has raised concerns this year about how schools are handling situations where students disrupt classes and other school activities. The union said it has received numerous complaints from teachers who are sending students to the principal's office for bad behavior only to have the kids sent back to the classroom with little or no consequences.

Jan 28, 2018, Cloquet (MN) Pine Journal: LETTER: Minn. schools led U.S. in suicide prevention training

Readers should know that Minnesota was the first state in the country to require teachers to have two hours of training on the early warning signs of mental illness in students.


Jan 28, 2018, Meriden (CT) Journal Record: New Wallingford program aims to help K-2 students with mental health issues

The school district will start a new program next month for children in grades K-2 with severe social and emotional needs. 

The program will place children in a smaller classroom environment with support from para-educators, social workers and psychologists. It is meant to help children dealing with anxiety, trauma and other issues, said Laura Klimaszewski, the school district’s director of pupil services. 

“The biggest problem is the inability to self regulate their emotions and behaviors, regardless of what's causing it,” Klimaszewski said. …”

“We have so many students that have either experienced trauma or have experienced emotional issues that they’re coming to us with, and we have to help them,” Menzo told the board.  “They’re not (able) to learn without having this support.” …

Jan 28, 2018, BBC: Teaching assistants: We are kicked, spat on, hit and sworn at

"On a daily basis we are kicked, spat on, hit and sworn at. I encounter violence every day, normally multiple times a day. It's incredibly rare to have a day where I haven't been physically harmed in one way or another."

Emma works as a classroom assistant at a school in south-east England for children with behavioural, emotional and mental-health problems. …


Jan 29, 2018, (New Zealand) The Spinoff: Why teacher aides are crucial to classrooms: a principal and an aide write

Tara Taylor-Jorgensen, principal, Pukerua Bay School, Porirua:

In an ideal world our school would have a teacher aide in every classroom – all day.

I can’t speak for all NZ schools but our school has so many diverse needs that a TA would be run off their feet in any of our classrooms. …

Further, personalised, flexible learning is big in our school and our TAs assist with this by bringing their vast prior knowledge to learning situations as well as being an additional set of hands and eyes. I can’t even imagine our school without them. …

Jan 29, 2018, Osseo (MN) Sun Focus: Heights’ pre-K programming expands to meet demand

“As we’ve seen an increase in early childhood enrollment, we’ve also seen an increase in our referrals for special education from birth through age 5 by 20 percent when we compare numbers from this year to last year,” she said. “Of those referrals we’ve received, about 90 percent of those students qualify for special education. So we are truly collaborating and providing early intervention services, which we know is best practice.”

Jan 29, 2018, Buffalo WBFO 88.7: Many Buffalo teachers say students are 'out of control'

The head of Buffalo's teachers union says results of a study on student behavior study are "disturbing" and "distressing."   WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley reports on the survey results and has reaction from the district.  

Buffalo Teachers Federation president Phil Rumore said more than 1,200 city school teachers responded to the survey. According to its results, 13.6% say student behavior is "out of control" and 17.5% of teachers said behavior is "almost out of control." 

Teachers responded from 65 of the district's 69 schools. Teachers reported students acting out, swearing, threatening violence, and throwing furniture. Rumore is pleading with the city school district to do something.


Jan 29, 2018, White River Junction (VT) Valley News:  Valley’s Students Sit or Stand in Class in Any Number of Ways

…because most of the roughly 20 kids in the Thetford Elementary School classroom had no chairs.

Instead, they had stability balls, a form of alternative seating that school special educator Kristen Hansen described as “basically yoga balls with udders.”

Typically, in-school stability balls have been geared toward students who have trouble sitting still throughout the school day, the fidgeters and wigglers who tend to concentrate better when they can move around, Hansen said in a phone call last week.

“Especially for students with ADHD, it works well for them. … Sitting for too long, for kids with excess energy, is excruciatingly painful — for them and for myself.”

But many Upper Valley educators, including Harrington, feel that a student doesn’t need an official diagnosis to reap the benefits of going chair-free. Stability balls, for example, encourage constant, low-level physical activity and are thought to build core strength. This is the second year stability balls have been in general use in her classroom.


Jan 29, 2018, 40/29 TV, Fort Smith, AR: Siloam Springs elementary creates sensory room

Northside Elementary school in Siloam Springs has created a sensory room, to help children with autism and other special needs.

The room is equipped with several different tools from a swing, to bubble walls, and deep tissue rollers, to help students who deal with sensory issues.

… students have a place to calm down and reset.

The Northside principal tells 40/29 News, they are hoping to help the children before a meltdown occurs, because young children can often not communicate their feelings.


Jan 29, 2018, (Australia) Yahoo News: Kids as young as five struggling with anxiety, teachers warn

Western Australia will see 120 new full-time teachers hired to help with growing concerns of mental health issues among students as young as five.

Education Minister Sue Ellery claims the Department of Education is already seeing "the increasing appearance of anxiety and mental health issues in school".

Educators have said they are seeing issues like anxiety manifesting at a concerning young age.

Jan 29, 2018, Ripon (WI) Press: RMS student allegedly attacks teacher with scissors

A Ripon Middle School (RMS) student attacked a teacher with a pair of scissors while in class Monday, according to an emailed statement sent by RMS Principal Rick Bunge to all Ripon Area School District (RASD) families. 

"While the teacher was talking to the student about the situation, the student out of frustration moved to cut a book that was on the desk," the statement reads. "When the teacher attempted to move the book, the student grabbed the teacher’s sweater and cut it. While the teacher was taking the scissors from the student, the student kicked the teacher. As is protocol, the teacher directed the other students to move out into the project space and alert the teacher in the classroom next door." …

Jan 29, 2018, WFTV, Orlando: School: Child who punched teacher was restrained once before

School district officials in Florida said they followed standard protocol last week when a 7-year-old boy was placed in handcuffs and removed from his school - and they say it was the second time since the school year began that the first-grader had to be restrained following aggressive behavior.


Jan 29, 2018, New London (CT) Day: East Lyme school board adopts superintendent’s budget

Newton presented data that showed that last year, there were more than 30 mental health/crisis intervention occurrences at East Lyme High School and about 27 at East Lyme Middle School. Based on the number to date, the school district projects there will be a "significant increase" in interventions this year.


Jan 29, 2018, Shelter Island (NY) Reporter:  Beyond the 3 Rs — School focusing on social and emotional learning

But at Shelter Island School, there’s also an emphasis on what’s being termed “social and emotional learning” that’s part of classroom subjects. …


Jan 30, 2018, (UK) Telegraph and Argus: Consultation into creation of 160 extra special educational needs places begins

The number of Bradford children who have been diagnosed with having special educational needs and disabilities has been rising in recent years, partly due to faster diagnosis of young people with conditions like autism.

Jan 30, 2018, News.com (Australia): Education Minister Susan Close reveals $57m cost of program to help students with special needs http://www.news.com.au/national/south-australia/education-minister-susan-close-reveals-57m-cost-of-program-to-help-students-with-special-needs/news-story/af5eee6c49828b95ace5d5f3d89d0e1c

SOUTH Australian public school students with special needs will get extra support through a package of measures Education Minister Susan Close has revealed will cost $57 million.

PUBLIC school students with special needs will get extra support through a package of measures the State Government has revealed will cost $57 million.


It follows a survey taken last year to identify how many school students in South Australian schools met a new, broader definition of having a disability and what level of support they needed….


Dr Close said students would also benefit from already-announced initiatives, including:

154 extra special options placements in preschools and schools where there is the most need.

200 special options places in two new schools to be built in Adelaide’s north and south.


Jan 30, 2018, Meriden (CT) Record Journal: Berlin special education looks to fund behavioral program in budget

Special education in the district is looking to keep the high school’s behavioral and emotional program next year to help struggling students.

With the addition of six new students in the district over the past two years identifying as needing special education, Holian said four more paraprofessionals are needed for one-to-one student support.

Jan 30, 2018, Dandridge (TN) Standard Banner: 2018 TEACHER OF THE YEAR ‘We all have a deficit in some way’

…Some students in her program have specific learning disabilities in areas like written expression, reading fluency, math calculation, or math reasoning skills. Others are dealing with autism; health-impaired disabilities like ADHD or seizure disorders; or emotional or behavioral disturbances typically related to negative childhood experiences. These often present as fears, anxiety disorders or aggressive behaviors.

Jan 30, 2018, Seacoast, Portsmouth, NH: BudCom supportive of school spending plan

Although members of the Budget Committee expressed concern about the proposed 6.7 percent increase in the Fiscal Year 2019 municipal budget, members at a recent meeting expressed overall satisfaction with the school budget -- which as proposed is up 4.7 percent despite a nearly 27 percent hike in special education.

Jan 30, 2018, (UK) Tes: Mental health could become a 'stick to beat teachers with', and eight other things MPs heard today

Schools cannot fund mental health provision from their own budgets. Nor can teachers double as mental health professionals, MPs were told

This morning, MPs from the education and health parliamentary select committees heard evidence from a range of school and mental health experts, about how to transform mental health provision for young people. …


Jan 30, 2018, Berkeley, CA, Berkeleyside: Use of weighted vest at Berkeley school raises questions about parental consent

At a Berkeley School Board meeting in early January, a parent made a disturbing comment about his daughter’s experience in a transitional kindergarten classroom at LeConte Elementary.

Carlos Pennington said his five-year-old daughter had been punished by being forced to wear a weighted vest in class, and made other allegations of abuse.

Weighted compression vests are stretchy outerwear with pockets that can be loaded with small weights, and Berkeley Unified does, in fact, own about 20. But the district says they are not used for discipline at Berkeley schools. Instead, their purpose is “to assist with a student’s ability to attend to tasks and maintain better control over the student’s body during classroom tasks (such as engaging in tabletop activities). Wearing a weighted vest has a calming impact on the body,” said BUSD spokesman Charles Burress, in an email to Berkeleyside.

Jan 31 2018, New Milford (CT) Spectrum: Special education costs rise for many Danbury-area districts

Across the Danbury area, special education costs are rising as more students with disabilities are sent out of their home districts to get the services they need. …


Although officials caution that there is no data to suggest a trend or give specific reasons, some school superintendents said the rise in outplacements may be connected to better identification of children who need those services.


Recently, superintendents in Brookfield, New Milford, New Fairfield, Redding and Ridgefield have all asked for higher special education budgets for the 2018-19 school year. …


Brookfield Superintendent John Barile said the rise in students sent out of the district could be a combination of increased needs in children and better identification. …

Jan 31, 2018, Pipestone (MN) County Star: New Wellness Center responds to social, mental health needs


On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Tanya Schroyer, middle school counselor at Pipestone Area Schools (PAS), called Ashley Whipkey, a therapist with Southwestern Mental Health Center’s (SWMHC) crisis response team, to meet with a struggling student.

When Whipkey arrived she was able to meet with the student in private in the school’s new Wellness Center. Whipkey said the Wellness Center provided a quiet, comfortable place without any interruptions to meet with the student.

Wellness Center was completed in January and is designed to be a safe place for students to go where they can receive social and mental health services and other support.

Jan 31, 2018, News104.5, Jacksonville, FL: Clay County Schools announces new partnership to bring motivational coaches to all junior high schools   

It's already underway at a handful of junior high schools in Clay County, but by the end of the 2018-2019 school year it will be expanded to include ALL junior high schools in the district.


Clay County Schools has launched a partnership with Motivational Coaches of America to help students identified at risk of 'disengaging' from the learning process, whether that be attendance or behavioral issues, or academic concerns. 


Clay County Superintendent Addison Davis says it's about providing students access to behavior and mental health services--- at no cost. …


"We recognize that 1 in 5 children in the United States will have a mental health disorder diagnosed to them at any given year.

Jan 31, 2018, White Plains (NY) Journal News: Judge tosses Irvington teacher's suit over student attack

A state Supreme Court judge this week dismissed a lawsuit filed by an Irvington Middle School teacher who said she suffered permanent injuries in a "grievous" attack by a student. …

Martin filed the lawsuit in August, claiming she suffered "severe and permanent personal and psychological injures" in the March 16 attack by a special education student from Yonkers who had been placed in the Irvington school.

Subsequent court filings included copies of email exchanges between Martin and school district officials that dated to 2014, in which she complained repeatedly to school and district officials about the student's violent tendencies.

Jan 31, 2018, (Ireland) Dublin People: Local students attend mental health event

STUDENTS at a Northside secondary school were among 7,000 teenagers who took part in major event that aims to promote positive mental health. ...

The event, which started as a gathering of 40 students in 2012, is now the largest young people’s mental health conference in Europe. ...


Jan 31, 2108, (UK) Daily Mail: Children as young as four who fall behind at school are more

likely to suffer psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia, when they are adults


Having infants with normal IQ levels for their age, which then decrease when the children are as young as four years old, is associated with the development of conditions such as schizophrenia in later life, according to the first study of its kind.


Such individuals' IQs then continue to decrease throughout their childhood, teenage years and early adulthood until they are 15 points lower than their healthy peers', the research adds. 


Jan 31, 2018, Meriden (CT) Record Journal: Berlin special education looks to fund behavioral program in budget Special education in the district is looking to keep the high school’s behavioral and emotional program next year to help struggling students. 


Special education in the district is looking to keep the high school’s behavioral and emotional program next year to help struggling students.

Effective School Solutions (ESS), a program out of New Jersey, will cost $275,000 for the 2018-2019 school year.


Jan 31, 2018, Jacksonville, FL, WJXT: Clay County introducing program to give at-risk students additional support

Addressing emotional and behavioral health issues in schools, Clay County is rolling out a new program to help keep kids on track.

Last year, the I-TEAM revealed alarming statistics showing Clay County had one of the largest spikes in children being hospitalized under the Baker Acted, meaning their hospitalization was due to an involuntary psychiatric evaluation.  …

In 2015, more than 350 kids in Clay County were hospitalized with an involuntary psychiatric evaluation -- a nearly 40 percent jump over the past five years. …

Jan 31, 2018, Idaho Ed News: Trauma-informed teaching changes culture in Caldwell

Abuse. Bullying. Divorce. Neglect.

Some students bring these experiences to school from home, which they can’t get out of their brain and truly focus on their learning.

Angela Layne is no stranger to working with students who have experienced trauma. The Lewis and Clark Elementary counselor is changing the way students’ express feelings at school….

 Trauma-informed is based on the idea that students who misbehave may be the result of a brain that has been overwhelmed by repeated traumatic experiences.

Jan 31, 2018, Cornwall, Ontario, Standard Freeholder: Children and teens are not getting enough sleep -- Health Matters

More alarmingly, recent evidence suggests children and adolescents who do not get the recommended amount of sleep are at increased risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, obesity, poor mental health, and injuries.

Jan 31, 2018, Bournemouth, England, Daily Echo: Autism diagnosis pleas put pressure on health services

DELAYS in the assessment of autistic children are due to a national increase in requests for diagnosis putting pressure on health services, Bournemouth council says.….

"It is acknowledged that there is a national increase in requests for ASD diagnosis which has had an impact of health services’ ability to respond in a timely manner and has had an impact on waiting times."

Jan 31, 2018, (Canada) London Free Press: Students demand action on campus mental health crisis

In the midst of a “mental health crisis,” Western University students will decide next week if they want to see mental health care made a priority in the school’s strategic plan — even if it means less money for existing priorities….

Mental health has become a growing issue on Canadian campuses.

Jan 31, 2018, Mobile, AL, Lagniappe Weekly: Attorney says school locked student in 'isolation cell'

A mother is taking legal action against the Baldwin County Public School System after her special-needs son was placed in a “timeout room” for hours that some legal experts say is in worse shape than many prison cells. …

“He came home and told me they put him in a room for over two hours, and that they did indeed shut the door and lock it so that he couldn’t get back out,” she said. “I asked his teacher about it, and he said it’s common and that sometimes children get so upset they have to be separated from the rest of the class and that’s an easy place for them to go, where they can’t hurt themselves or anybody else.”

Feb 1, 2018, (UK) Blackpool Gazette: More than one primary school child a week referred to mental health services in Blackpool

In 2016, former Hodgson Academy headteacher Toni Roethling said: “We are getting primary school children coming to us with severe problems.”


Feb 1, 2018, UK Huffington: We Must Ensure Autistic Children Are No Longer Held Back

The education system in England is letting down children and young people on the autism spectrum.

But many parents have to fight to get the support their child is entitled to. 50 per cent of children on the autism spectrum have to wait more than a year for the help they need at school. 42 per cent of children are refused an assessment by their local authority of their education, health and care needs the first time this is requested. 40 per cent of parents say their child’s school place does not fully meet their needs.

Feb 1, 2018, Somerset, England, Somerset Live: Bridgwater's Westover Green School opens new autism centre following multi-million investment

A Bridgwater school has officially opened a new £700,000 autism centre to serve the local area.

The 14-place facility centre at Westover Green School has a sensory room, calm room, kitchen area, outdoor play area and two classrooms. …

Executive headteacher Heather Good, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this new autism centre and this is wonderful news for local children.

Feb 1, 2018, (Jacksonville) Florida Times—Union: New Clay school program aimed at-risk students

Clay County school district middle school students with behavioral, mental health or emotional issues — that if left unaddressed can put their lives and education at risk — can get help through a new school-based program beginning this month.

Superintendent Addison Davis said the district is partnering with Motivational Coaches of America in a program to give students access to behavioral and emotional health services at school at no cost to the students, families or school system….


“These are students who exhibited undesired behaviors academically, attendance wise, and behaviorally,” Davis said. “Students will learn how to overcome academic anxieties, behavior issues, anger management, bullying, chemical dependence while learning how to foster positive relationships with peers, teachers, parents, and the entire community.”

“In this school district alone, we will be adding seven motivational coaches ...” Avael said. The student and his/her family are consulted, and must consent to participate in the program, he said. …

Clay County has one of the highest rate increases — 38 percent — in the region for children who were Baker-Acted within a five-year span, according to a Florida Department of Children and Families report last year. The Baker Act is a law allowing the involuntary or emergency commitment of a person for psychiatric evaluation by the state. …

Feb 1, 2018, (New Zealand) Scoop: Otumoetai pilot frontline mental health in school

Otumoetai students have access to specialist mental health support at school as part of a health funded pilot focused on building children’s resilience and general wellbeing.….

Otumoetai COL Lead Principal Henk Popping says, “Collectively our schools had noticed a trend with students coming through the schooling system lacking resilience. …

“Although the pilot has only just begun, I would envisage group therapy sessions for students focused on teaching them coping skills would also be offered at school.”

Feb 1, 2018, Chicago Sun Times: Why cases of ADHD in young women are skyrocketing

The number of young, adult women medicated for ADHD has skyrocketed over the last decade – jumping by 344 percent, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The good news is that adult women are finally getting diagnosed,” said Dr. Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist who has written a half-dozen books on ADHD. “I see women go from struggling and feeling so bad about themselves to – they burst into tears when they see how much better their life becomes.”

The percentage of young women who filled at least one prescription for ADHD medication climbed from just under 1 percent of the population in 2003 to 4 percent in 2015, according to the report, which looked at women ages 15-44 with private insurance.

The rise in childhood diagnoses is also likely driving the spike among adult women, said Melissa Orlov, a marriage counselor who specializes in relationship issues in ADHD. As children with ADHD age into adulthood, they are taking their prescriptions with them, she said, citing her own daughter who was in fifth grade in 2001 when she was diagnosed with ADHD and is now 26 and still medicated.

Also, many women realize they have the condition after their child is diagnosed with it.

Feb 1, 2018, (Australia) Brisbane Courier Mail: Parents need to stop being ruled by their kids

Bad behaviour — kicking, screaming, punching and worse — begins somewhere and it’s not at school.

… Why should it fall solely to schools to fix what starts in the home?...

The answers lies in parenting, and forging a cooperative culture between home and school that recognises — as opposed to pay lip service to — the value of education.

Another OECD report, in 2017, found one-third of students in advantaged schools and about half in disadvantage schools said that in most or every class there was noise and disorder, students didn’t listen to what the teacher said, and students found it difficult to learn.

Philip Riley, from the Australian Catholic University, runs the Principal Health and Wellbeing survey. He says anti-social behaviour is “ubiquitous”, getting worse every year and cultural change is urgently needed. …

In Western Australia, teachers are threatening to strike if the Government doesn’t mandate policies to tackle violence from increasingly younger perpetrators.

Aggression that once might have been seen in Year 7 pupils is now occurring in Year 1s, according to the teachers’ union….

Feb 1, 2018, (UK) SCOTLAND—Ardrossan, North Ayrshire, Carrick Herald: Progress on Girvan's Invergarven School

Built in 1870, Invergarven is a special school for primary and secondary children with complex additional support needs.

The new £3.7m facility, which will replace the current building on Henrietta Street, is being built by CBC in the grounds of Girvan Academy, delivering spaces for learning and teaching including a sensory room, life skills kitchen, multi-use hall, hydrotherapy pool and external areas.

The new school will increase capacity by around a third with 20 children and young people able to be taught at any one time.

Feb 1, 2018, Chicago Tribune: Community groups vow to help resolve anxiety epidemic in wake of Naperville student stress survey

Now that they know what is causing kids to be stressed, local organizations are vowing to find ways to solve the anxiety epidemic afflicting Naperville school students.…..

The source of the stress for most students, the survey found, was school, competition and peers.

Feb 1, 2018, (UK) Bournemouth Buzz: Small Victory for Dorset Amidst the Youth Mental Health Crisis

In the past 25 years, national rates of mental health disorders in young people have risen by 70% , with anxiety and depression seeing the largest spike. Psychiatrists and medics alike are dubbing it the ‘youth mental health crisis’ and so far, unfortunately, there seems to be no end in sight.

Whichever way you look at it, the state of young people’s mental health today is dire to say the least. More young people below the age of 25 are complaining of and being diagnosed with low mood, depression and anxiety than ever before. …


Hospital admissions for children and young people with eating disorders has doubled, rates of self harm have increased exponentially and hospital admissions for children with psychiatric conditions has more than doubled in the past eight years.


Feb 1, 2018, Haverhill, MA, WHAV 97.9: Agency Reports Crowell Kindergarten Abused Children with Restraint Misuse

Haverhill’s Crowell School kindergarten came under fire Thursday for abuse and neglect of children by improperly using “restraint, time-out and disciplinary” actions against children. …

 “The student was having a difficult time being upset in class, and the staff was restraining her at times prior to using other, less intrusive types of intervention,” she explained….


Feb 2, 2018, Voice of San Diego: Special Education Costs Are Rising, But Money From State and Feds Isn't—Skyrocketing Special Ed Costs Join Pensions as District Budget Busters

Add special education costs to the list of things crippling California school district finances.

At San Diego Unified, the amount of local funds contributed to special education increased nearly 65 percent between the 2012-2013 school year and the 2016-2017 year. San Marcos Unified’s local revenue contribution during that time has increased by 67.5 percent.

Oceanside Unified said its special education expenditures are rising at the same rate as pensions and healthcare costs. That increase is happening at a rate of about $5 million per year.


Feb 1, 2018, Leesburg VA, Loudoun Now: School Board’s Adopted Budget Would Achieve Universal Full-Day Kindergarten

…The School Board left intact $3.2 million that Williams recommended to expand mental health services for middle school students through support teams made up of school counselors (17 additional would be hired), social workers (seven additional) and psychologists (seven additional). Last year, the board created and staffed mental health teams at each of the high schools, when Loudoun saw an increase in suicides among teens.


Feb 1, 2018, Manchester (NH) Union Leader: Newport School District proposes budget increases

The school district is proposing a significant budget hike, mostly due to the increase in special education costs, according to Superintendent Cindy Gallagher. …


The proposed operating budget for 2018-19 is $18,641,564, a $930,320 increase from the current spending plan of $17,711,238. 

as well as funds for autism services in the middle high school. 

Feb 1, 2018, (UK) Happiful: Who Is Responsible for Children's Mental Health at School?

The green paper, which was published in December, proposed £95 million to fund a senior lead for mental health in every school in England; £215 million to pay for mental health support teams in schools; and other initiatives that provide support and treatment at schools.

Feb 1, 2018, Danville, VA, Go Dan River: Parent voices worries about Bonner Middle School students

A Danville parent voiced concerns about the behavior of students at Bonner Middle School during the public comment portion of a Thursday school board meeting.

Keith Owens, who said he has two students at Bonner, said he spent the day volunteering and participating in the school’s shadow program. While there, Owens said he noticed students getting out of their seats and talking while the teacher was trying to teach the class.

Feb 1, 2018, Portsmouth, NH, Foster’s Daily Democrat: Rochester schools face likely $1.2M budget shortfall

The School Department is looking at a potential budget deficit of more than $1.2 million because of several factors, including an influx of special education students with out-of-district school placements. …

 “I’m shocked,” Superintendent Mike Hopkins told the committee Thursday while specifically addressing the special education portion of the fiscal year 2018 deficit.

Increased special education costs are the biggest driver of the deficit, according to Hopkins. The district budgeted a combined $5,739,340 for tuition, transportation and related services for special education, but based on current spending rates Rochester is projecting it will actually spend $6,664,539, or $926,199 over budget.

Feb 1, 2018, Ennis, MT, Madisonian News: What is your ACE score? Countywide school board meeting teaches how adverse childhood experience play into overall health 


The crux of the meeting was spent learning about adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs.  A study conducted in the 1980s discovered that children who were exposed to traumatic events during their first 18 years were more likely to develop mental and behavioral health problems. ACE scores are determined through an evaluation of 10 types of childhood trauma – five center around personal trauma, such as physical, verbal and sexual abuse and neglect. The remaining five are related to other family members: an alcoholic parent, mental illness within the family, divorce or death. Each type of trauma counts as one point toward your final ACE score. The study, published by the Centers for Disease Control, determined that such experiences can create a toxic level of stress and disrupt brain development, which leads to disease, mental illness and even death.


Feb 2, 2018, Yahoo News Canada: Disabled by anxiety: Accommodations on the rise for students at Manitoba post-secondary schools

A growing number of students are receiving accommodations for mental health disabilities and learning disabilities during tests and exams, data from the three largest post-secondary institutions in Winnipeg say.

Data from Université de Saint-Boniface say the number of students with disabilities at the school doubled between 2012 and 2017.

Feb 2, 2018, Southington, CT, Bristol Observer: Series of events led to BOE budget deficit

Accounting firm Blum Shapiro presented a forensic audit of the Board of Education to the Board of Finance on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The City of Bristol commissioned the audit after the BOE experienced year-end deficits for school years 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. …

One of the areas with the most concern was the special education portion of the budget.

Feb 2, 2018, Minocqua, WI, Lakeland Times: LUHS approves contract with charter school

With the unanimous decision of the Lakeland Union High School Board on Monday to approve a structural design for a new charter school, area parents of children with autism in the Northwoods took a major leap forward on the path towards operating the school in the region.

According to the copy of the contract distributed at the meeting, the governance council will oversee the high school. Another school is planned for younger students in the same site called Northern Wisconsin School for Diverse Learners and will be overseen by the Minocqua-Hazelhurst-Lake Tomahawk School Board -

Feb 2, 2018, (UK) Falkirk Herald: Schools’ plan for autism seeks to ‘stay local’ in a changing world

A new policy was needed simply because the number of children with additional support needs has grown locally, in line with a national trend.

Part of this is because modern education identifies “needs” whereas in days gone by children were often simply dismissed as “problems”.

Feb 2, 2018, (Ireland) KCLR FM: Education Minister asked to review ASD spaces available for children in Kilkenny and Carlow

The Minister for Education has agreed to review the number of spaces for children in Carlow and Kilkenny in Autism Units.

Local Deputy Kathleen Funchion has told the Dáil [the Irish Parliament] this week that there are not enough spaces for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder within a reasonable geographical area despite what the National Council for Special Education says.

Feb 2, 2018, Lexington, MA, Wicked Local, Arlington: Get to know the new Arlington Education Foundation grant projects

Taking a sensory break

Until now, Arlington High School did not have a formal space for students on the autism spectrum to take sensory breaks. In response, Magali Olander, a clinical social worker with the REACH program at AHS, created ChillVille.

“The idea behind a sensory space is that there is a dedicated physical space that allows students to meet their sensory needs,” said Olander.


Feb 2, 2018, Jacksonville (FL) Free Press: Full Scale Health Centers Open at Ribault School

Two school-based health centers located on the campuses of Ribault Middle and High Schools will provide a comprehensive pediatric medical home and health care to public school students and those under age 21. The health centers will be staffed by licensed health care professionals, who will be available weekdays to assist students.

With aid offering more than just a school nurse, School-Based Health Center services will be providing under the direction of a dedicated pediatrician and full-time nurse practitioner. It also establishes a “medical home” within the geographic area for those who need it. …

We feel fortunate to be able to help these kids with whatever they are dealing with — whether it’s toxic stress or access to fresh groceries.” said Nurse practitioner Christie Johnson.

Feb 2, 2018, (UK) BBC News: Winterton school stabbing: Teenager detained for seven years

A teenage girl who stabbed a school support worker in a "ferocious" attack has been sentenced to seven years in custody. …

Mrs Simon was "thrown about" by the force of the attack, Hull Crown Court heard, which had to be stopped by a teacher and dinner lady. …

The court was told Burkill had no contact with mental health services but had a long history of a depressive illness.


Feb 2, 2018, Education Week: In Miami, Disruptive Students Are Handcuffed, Ordered to Undergo Psych Exams

On the same day, 15 miles south at Gulfstream Elementary, 10-year-old Kevin Bowles was begging his teachers not to call the police.


The fourth-grader had gotten upset when a teacher told him to make up some schoolwork during recess last Thursday. As Kevin grew increasingly agitated, one of his teachers told the other to call the Baker Act number, Kevin later told his mother. 


A teacher’s aide took Kevin into the hallway to calm him down, but he bolted toward the front door. The assistant principal caught the 10-year-old before he made it outside. By the time Kevin’s mother arrived, Kevin had scratched his stomach, back and chest in distress. A few minutes later, police showed up….


To prevent her son from being handcuffed, Fombellida took him to a clinic for a psychiatric evaluation. There, the doctor told her what she already knew: Kevin was autistic, had ADHD and was not a threat to himself or to anyone else.


Feb 2, 2018, KTIC Savannh, GA: This teen's struggle with depression led her and brother to create APP to help others


…Mental illness is defined by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. One in six U.S. adults lives with a mental illness, the institute reports.


Among adolescents, an estimated 49.5 percent between the ages 13 to 18 have a mental disorder, according to NIMH. …


Feb 2, 2018, (Canada) British Columbia, BC Local: Addressing mental health a priority for local school district—Starting in March students will have access to a drop in clinic every Wednesday at RSS

About 15 per cent of Canadian youth are impacted by a mental illness or disorder, and only one in five Canadian students who require mental health services receive them, says the Canadian Mental Health Association. …

The most recent service the school board will be providing for students at Revelstoke Secondary School is access to a walk-in clinic every Wednesday from 11:30 to 2:30, which is slated to begin this March.

Feb 2, 2018, Scottsbluff (NE) Star Herald: Panhandle Beginnings Act would expand mental health services for kids

Because of limited resources in the Nebraska Panhandle to detect and treat mental illness in school-aged children, Sen. John Stinner of Gering is calling for a day treatment center in the region where children could get those services close to their families.

To accomplish that, Stinner introduced Legislative Bill 801, which would create a pilot project named Panhandle Beginnings where children from elementary, junior high and high school, could attend a day program and get the help they they aren't currently able to get in the classroom.

"They're seeing a lot of behavioral health issues," Stinner said. "And behavioral issues being defined as a kid [who] will do himself or other people harm. This is at the grade school level, too, not just confined to the older kids."

Stinner wants to address specialized programs for students.

"The bottom line is kids with all of these mental and behavioral problems really need specialized help," Stinner said.


Feb 3, 2018,

Erie, PA, Go Erie: Student mental-health issues swell at Erie-area schools

Educators: More students are anxious or depressed and are acting out in school.

Local schools are battling an “explosion” of student mental-health and behavioral issues this school year.

An increasing number of students are depressed or anxious and are disrespecting teachers, withdrawing, refusing to do classwork or belittling other students, even in elementary grades, local schools superintendents said.

“This fall it seemed like there was an explosion of mental-health needs and behavioral problems that we had not experienced before,” General McLane Superintendent Rick Scaletta said. “It’s like a pot of boiling water that’s had a lid on it, and the lid’s blown off.”

Problem behaviors: Disrespect, disregard, disengagement …

Most noticeable is that more young children are misbehaving, North East schools Superintendent Frank McClard said.

Recent research appears to confirm an increase in student mental-health problems nationwide.

Jean Twenge, a California psychology professor who has studied generational trends for 25 years, warns that the generation in school today is on the verge of a mental-health crisis.…

That feeds anxiety, depression and other mental-health problems that manifest in unwanted behaviors at school, Scaletta said. …

Feb 3, 2018, (UK) Reading, England, Bracknell News: Ascot school adopts new mental health programme

A MENTAL health and wellbeing programme which has had a big effect in Australia is coming to an independent girls school.

The ‘Flourishing at School’ programme aims to improve positive emotions, engagement and positive relationships among students rather than identifying those already in distress or at risk.

Feb 3, 2018, Chippewa Herald (Chippewa Falls, WI) Herald: Southview Elementary closes distance to 'barrier-free' playground

Not only will kids with wheelchairs be able to climb the structures, the playground will have “sensory” equipment, aimed at students on the autism spectrum: “We’ll have some spinner chairs, which are for kids with sensory needs,” Golden said. “We’ll have a lot of games and interactive boards that kids can feel. It’s all about including that sense of touch.”




Yeah, sometimes the teachers are narcissistic sociopathic trash. I remember this one typing teacher I had. She was mostly lard and wore a wig and the kids like to make fun of her by complementing her. She actually liked that. She kept sending me to the principals office for no reason. Even the principal couldn't figure out why. I wasn't one of the people "complementing" her though. Some teachers are just trash.

"Jan 28, 2018, Buffalo (NY) News: Buffalo teachers union to release results of student behavior survey

The Buffalo Teachers Federation is expected to release the results of its Disruptive Student Behavior Survey during a press conference at 10 a.m. Monday at BTF Headquarters, 271 Porter Ave.

The teachers union has raised concerns this year about how schools are handling situations where students disrupt classes and other school activities. The union said it has received numerous complaints from teachers who are sending students to the principal's office for bad behavior only to have the kids sent back to the classroom with little or no consequences. …"


Actually, a while back I read a story about a school in Detroit. The kids acted bad, the school cops treated them like criminals in prison and even put bars over the computer room windows.

Then another group took over, taught the people working there to de-escalate situations and show the kids respect instead of projecting their "AUTHORITAY", took the bars off the windows, stopped treating the kids like thugs...

And the kids started acting much better. I sometimes think a lot of the ways kids act is because of a toxic authoritarian social environment... along with the toxic meds and plastics, and wifi and 4g and soon to be 5g and heavy metals, corroding toxic infrastructure included water pipes... etc...

susan welch

Thank you so much, again, for compiling this information. The mental health of our children really is the 'elephant in the room' that Education Depts., Health services and governments are refusing to look at.

There is so much information here and I will certainly pass it on, one way or another, in the next few days.

bob moffit

"According the U.S. National Institute of Mental Health, mental illnesses are common, and include many different conditions that vary in degree of severity, ranging from mild to moderate to severe. National survey data estimates that 49.5 percent of children between the ages of 13 and 18 had any mental disorder–and among them, more than 22 percent had a severe impairment.”

Unfortunately .. the NIMH explanation that "mental illnesses are common" in children between the ages of 13 and 18 .. provides justification for what has become common practice .. the prescribing of antidepressant drugs (SSIRI's) ... believing them to be an effective way to treat depression and anxiety in children and teenagers. However, it is well recognized that antidepressant use in children and teens must be monitored carefully, so much so .. it has caused the FDA to require a "black box" warning about the risk of increased suicidal thinking and behavior in "some" individuals under the age of 25.

Additionally .. in "some" children, it is also well understood that antidepressants may also trigger anxiety, agitation, hostility, restlessness or impulsive behavior .. hardly the type of behaviors conducive to maintaining discipline and control in the school classroom.

I find it odd that a child's unruly behavior is being blamed solely on parents for causing "trauma" in their child's life .. but ... I haven't heard anyone of note question whether prescribed SSRI's may be more "problem than solution" .. a "treatment" that is known for increasing "anxiety, agitation, hostility, restlessness or impulsive behavior" in children?

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